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Zheng Qinwen announces reunion with coach Pere Riba
Zheng and the Spanish coach had previously worked together for two years before splitting after Roland Garros.
Published Dec 03, 2023
The band is back together. 2022 WTA Newcomer of the Year Zheng Qinwen and longtime coach Pere Riba have reunited.
Zheng confirmed their reunion in an Instagram post Sunday, heralding that she was heading "back to the original."
"Reunited after some time apart, ready to embark on the journey together and prepare for the upcoming year," she wrote alongside a photo of the two on court, and a larger group photo of her entire team.
Zheng and Riba worked together for much of the last two years, including during her arrival 2022 season in which she was named the WTA's Newcomer of the Year, broke the Top 30, and reached her first WTA singles final in Tokyo. But the pair split amicably this summer, in June, with Barcelona-based Zheng going on to work with Belgian Wim Fissette.
"It was a very intense two years, beautiful and learned a lot," Riba said of Zheng at the time their first collaboration ended. "From the beginning until today, we have always given our best effort and I have really enjoyed the journey we have created together. It is an honor to guide you, I'm so proud of you, your work ethic is one of the best I've seen in tennis."
Riba joined Coco Gauff's team, later becoming her co-coach with Brad Gilbert and guiding Gauff to her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open.
And while Zheng reached new heights under Fissette—winning her first career WTA singles title in Palermo and reaching the US Open quarterfinals—trouble was on the horizon. Fissette left Zheng a short time after the US Open, in a move that left her blindsided, to reunite with former charge Naomi Osaka as she prepares to return from maternity leave in 2024.
Meanwhile, Riba left Gauff's team in October, saying at the time that he needed to "step back" due to "personal and family health reasons."
Zheng, 21, closed her season by winning her second career WTA title in Zhengzhou in October, and also reached the final of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. She enters 2024 at a career-high ranking of No. 15.